Saturday, February 22, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is contact tracing a useful activity?
2. Do you expect a cure for the covid-19 virus soon?

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WOTC - Quarantine facilities

Wisdom of the Crowd: 78% of the respondents proposed the quarantine centers to be army camps, university hostels, and certain floors of hotels. The other 22% are happy with quarantine at home.

WOTC - Manage the return of 30,000 workers

Wisdom of the Crowd: 88% of the respondents want the 30,000 workers returning to Singapore from China to be placed under state supervised quarantine. 12% accept the current approach of quarantine at home.

Contact tracing is an ineffective and wasteful activity

Contact tracing is implemented under Dorscon Orange. I find it to be an ineffective and wasteful activity.

Let me explain why.

Good news in Singapore on covid-19

Well done to our doctors, nurses and the ministry of health. This is good news.

Hey, this confirms what I have been saying all along. I had expected most of the infected people to be "cured", provided that they are young and in good health. Furthermore, I also expect the covid-19 virus to do not much harm in the warm climate of Singapore.

There will be some patients that are critically ill. These are likely to be elderly or people with pre-existing medical conditions of a serious nature, or just people who are more vulnerable to the virus. But they will remain a small proportion of the patients.

I will remain optimistic. However, I am aware that I might be wrong and events may turn out to be worse in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, I will visit the malls and restaurants (I visited the Jewel yesterday) and help to bring some cheer to the workers in these business outlets. And I will encourage other people to join me (with or without face masks).

Controlling the spread of the virus - Singapore's approach

The World Health Organization (WHO) praised Singapore for our efforts in dealing with the covid-19 virus.

They must be impressed with the effort that are being taken under Dorscon Orange to have temperature scanning, contact tracing and the home quarantine.

Here is a report.
There is no doubt that we have put in a lot of effort and serious attention to deal with this problem and that it has achieved remarkable success.

We should not be carried away. We may be wasting a lot of time and resources carrying out activities that are not effective, and actually caused a lot of harm to the economy.

Here are my views.

Friday, February 21, 2020

How to pay a retailer

In this video, I explain the different ways to pay to a retailer or hawker and discuss which is the best way.

What is good for Singapore and for the people

Mr. Tan
I saw your recent posts about face masks and CCS. You seem to change your stance and is now pro-PAP. Are you contesting the election under PAP ticket?

What an idiotic question!
I am not pro PAP. I am not anti PAP.

I speak for what is good for Singapore and for the people of Singapore.

I do not like many of the PAP policies. I find that they are harmful to the people. That is why I speak against the bad policies.

The bad policies are:
a) Increase the cost of living
b) Fail to ensure that the citizens have jobs
c) Wasteful spending.
d) Lack of transparency and giving rubbish excuses.

But I am not anti PAP. I do not criticize them anyhow. I find some of the criticisms made by the anti-PAP people to be rather extreme.

No. I am not contesting under the PAP ticket. I don't think they want me. I also do not like most of their policies.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the LTA set an expiry date for the transit card?
2. How do you find electric cars?

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WOTC - Dorscon Orange

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the respondents said that the minister had issued Dorscon Orange too hastily and without proper preparation.

WOTC - Managing the coronavirus crisis

Wisdom of the Crowd: 88% of the respondents said that the minister for health has been managing the coronavirus crisis poorly.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Who do you prefer to be the next president of the USA
2. What are your views about minister Chan's speech to SCCCI?
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Bad reaction to minister's speech to the SCCCI

An audio of minister Chan's speech to the SCCCI was leaked out. The public was shocked to hear the recording.

The minister was highly criticized in social media over two issues:

a) His use of Singlish, which is unbecoming of a highly paid minister

b) His description of the behavior of some people (e.g. those who rush to stockpile food and masks) as idiots, stupid and selfish.

I like to share my perspective.

Reduced budget for North South Expressway

When the North South Expressway was first announced, I was shocked at the initial budget of $18 billion. I declared it to be too expensive and extravagant. I said it on social media.

Recently, I learned that the budget had been scaled down to $7 - 8 billion. I find it more acceptable.

I wonder if my protest at the earlier budget had caused the people in charge to do some re-thinking?

Never mind. At least it has now been scaled down.

I am still unhappy that the people in charge had allowed the initial budget to be approved in the first place. There is something seriously wrong with our system of governance, and check and balances.

PM Lee - I hope you are listening.

First Level screening for Covid-19 infections

I saw a recent statement from the ministry of manpower telling employers not to send their workers for screening of workers at the hospital, if the workers are healthy. It is difficult for the employer to make this determination of whether the workers should or should not be sent for screening.

I suggest that the ministry of health introduce the following system for first level screening of Covid-19 infections.

WOTC - Food rationing

Wisdom of the Crowd: 70% of the respondents are in favor of a system of price control or rationing for essential food supplies during emergencies. 30% prefer to leave this matter to the market and good social behavior.

WOTC - Democratic voting process

Wisdom of the Crowd: 52% of the respondents do not trust the results of the democratic voting process. 48% find them acceptable.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A new way to get queue priority

When a new product comes into the market (remember the Hello Kitty or the iPhone), many buyers queue up sometimes for a day in advance, to get their priority in the queue.

In the days of the hot property market, they also queue up to be in front of the queue to select a property to buy.

What about getting in front of the queue to book a place for primary school for a child?

Is there a better way to give priority for a queue?

I have developed a website to allow people to get the queue priority without having to spend hours in the queue. I like to invite you to test it.

Click on this link.

It will bring you to register in a queue. I am giving a set of books (worth more than $50) to the first 20 people in the queue. The queue priority will be determined by ballot on the closing date. Yes, it is like a lucky draw.

Give it a try. You can also invite your family members and friends to try this new way to get a queue priority.

Leave the scarce supply of face masks for the hospital workers

Minister Chan said that the govt has to conserve the limited supply of surgical masks for use in the hospitals.

I agree with this approach.

The doctors and nurses are at the most risks, as they have to take care of the infected patients at close proximity.

This means that less masks are available for use by the general public. I find it acceptable.

The risk of infection outside of the hospitals is low. That is why I do not feel the need to wear a mask.

We are not in the same situation as China, or Hong Kong, or even South Korea and Japan. It is winter in these countries. Even the seasonal flu can cause harm to the population, especially the elderly. I can therefore understand why more people wear the masks in these countries.

I do not want to pass any comment on Singaporeans who feel strongly that they need to use a face mask. But I disagree with the view, expressed by some of them, that the people who don't wear the mask are putting others at risk. I find it to be nonsense.

My opinion on the need to use the mask will change, if many more people are infected in Singapore. Meanwhile, no mask for me.

I am happy to encourage other people not to waste our scare supply of face masks and to leave them for the hospital workers. They need the masks more than us.

Getting people to use cashless payments

We now have more than 20 platforms offering cashless payments. This is too fragmented.

We need a universal cashless payment system that is as universal as cash. It should be used by all customers and merchants.

How to make merchants like cashless payments

Most people find that they have to carry too many cards.

That's right.

Each person should be required to carry no more than (say) 6 cards. Each card should be actively used.

These 6 cards card be:

a) an identity card
b) a transit card
c) a credit card
d) an employee or school card
e) a cash card (but it must be universally accepted)
f) whatever if your favorite.

I get annoyed with the PG or the MG card or the PA card. They are not well used, except for getting discounts. Why not use the NRIC for discounts?

We need to have a universally accepted cash card. To make it possible, the cash card should be easy to use, low cost and convenient.

The NETS cash card or the EZLink card is not well used because the merchants find the device to be too expensive (even on monthly rental) and the transaction fee to be too high.

I developed the Tap Pay card to be the solution. The merchant can use the mobile phone or tablet as the device to process the payment card. This will bring the cost down to an attractive level. If the retailers, hawkers and merchants like it, it can take off.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is President Trump making America great again?
2. Are the people of Singapore patriotic?
3. Do you like Budget 2020?
4. Should we set aside $5 billion to protect Singapore from rising sea level?

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WOTC - Are people of China patriotic

Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the respondents said that the people of China are quite patriotic. 32% are skeptical.

WOTC - Run in the interest of its people

Wisdom of the Crowd - 66% of respondents chose Japan as the country that is run best in the interest of its people. 21% chose China. UK, America and Japan came last.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Duty of govt to ensure workers are gainfully employed

During the negotiation to resolve the US-China trade war, the US side complained that China was subsidizing its state owned enterprises and gave them an advantage over American businesses.

The Chinese side explained that the state subsidy was necessary to ensure that these enterprises are able to continue to keep the workers employed. If the workers are retrenched, it would lead to a loss of income and social unrest.

I consider the explanation from the Chinese side to be fair and acceptable. It is the role of a govt to ensure that the workers have jobs. It is harmful to see massive retrenchment and unemployment, which could lead to all kinds of social problems.

Rather than criticize China, other countries should also find ways to keep their workers gainfully employed and able to earn a living wage. They should follow the example of China.

My comment apply to Singapore as well. (HSK - I hope that you are listening!).

Helping unemployed people in a recession

It is important for any govt to take steps to help the workers cope with a reduction or total loss of income during a recession.

An effective govt will implement measures to ensure that all the workers remain employed, even though they may suffer a drop in income.

I suggest the following measures to be adopted in Singapore (HSK - please take note).

Quora Why have Malays constantly dominated the bottom streams of Singapore's education system?

Muhd Syahir, lives in Singapore replied.

You know…when I was about 15 years old, I was actually wondering why are the Malays seem so dumb compared to other races in Singapore. I just turned 20 yesterday, so it has been about five years since I pondered about this question.
I’m not a sociologist or a psychologist so you can disagree with me. I’m also interested what other Malays or Chinese have to say about this.
Let’s start off with the fact that I have Malay friends from all educational background-ITE/POLY/JC/UNI. I have seen some of the brightest Malays that I have met and cannot even comprehend what they do during their free time and at the same time, I have friends that lepak 24/7. Nothing productive. Absolute zero. I do know one thing for sure, things will change for the better.
Based on personal observations in real life as well as online on social media and various online forums, many Malay families in the past do not have the mentality AND wealth to pursue higher education compared to today’s Malay families. Life doesn’t need you to be a degree holder back then to survive. My mom is the sole breadwinner of the house. She failed O levels. My family members and I are still alive and well.(Amin)The mentality that finishing ITE or POLY being enough is still there in 2020. I can still feel it. It’s this Malay culture that I do not know how to express on why we are not hungry for higher achievements in life such as getting a degree or becoming the boss. (Okay I’ve answered it after some thought. Look under Calvin Kong’s comment.)
Money may not be the main determinant why we are so bad in education but it is a major contributor. Let’s face it. Malays are much more poor compared to the Chinese. If you are a wealthy Malay, you’re not part of the majority that live in 3/4/5-room HDB flats. It is really hard if you’re bad at math(I am terrible at math) and you don’t have tuition to catch up with your classmates. My mom had to struggle putting me for math tuition since primary 2 till secondary 3 because I just could not grasp the concepts. At this point, maybe it’s just because I’m a Malay and most Malays suck at Math. Like I said, it’s always the blame-Malay-community-attitude problem.*Literally LOL-ed while typing this*
Anyways, the tides have changed. Malays in Singapore are catching up with other Singaporeans in terms of education and social standards(slowly). I can see more Malays entering universities, both local and private. Malays venturing overseas and doing well in their career. It is really up to one’s mindset to achieve whatever he wants to achieve in life. I would just like to remind my fellow Malay Singaporeans that just because we see the statistics of Malays being in normal technical and academic streams, pathetic number of Malays in JC and in universities doesn’t mean that we should have this low self-esteem that we are retarded and stupid. It just means that we have to work more on improving the foundations for our future Malay generations to prosper in life.
Hopefully my generation will break that Malay excuse mentality and get out of that cycle to pursue further studies.
Before I die, I have a few wishes that I hope would be fulfilled. One of them would be to see the Malay community in Singapore to thrive in most aspects especially in education. It would be a dream come true honestly.
-Your friendly Police-NSF officer

A better way to stop the spread of the virus

The measures implemented under code Orange has been quite chaotic and led to panic and waste of productivity.

Is there a better way to deal with the need to stop the spread of the virus?

I suggested the following steps. Do you agree with my suggestion?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is it safe to travel to Johor during this period?
2. Should the state provide hand sanitizers at public places?

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WOTC - China's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the respondents expressed a positive view towards China's handling of the Covid-19 epidemic. 42% held a negative view.

WOTC - Electronic tagging

Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the respondents said that people under home quarantine or leave of absence should be tagged electronically. 29% said that this is not necessary.

Use e-tagging for people under Stay Home notice

I suggest that the authority introduced electronic tagging for people issued with the "Stay at Home" notice.

It is not costly to implement and I believe that the people involved do not mind. We can design a tag that is not conspicuous.

It will be more effective that policing them with non-electronic means and impose heavy penalty.…/covid19-coronavirus-stay-…?

Be prepared, in case we move to code Red

We are now at code Orange and the situation has improved somewhat in recent days. It may still be too early to expect a change in the response level to code Yellow.

However, there is still the risk that the situation may worsen and the response level may change to code Red.

At that time, there will be another panic, with people rushing to stockpile food.

It is important for the govt to announce the plans for the distribution of food supplies under code Red. This will prepare the people and avoid the scramble.

What should be the plan? Here are my suggestions.

I hope that we will not get into this situation. (Actually, I think that this is unlikely). But, like the boy scouts say, "be prepared".

Encouraging news from Singapore

The news from Singapore has been quite positive. Several cases have been discharged after being found to be negative. Two severe cases previously in intensive care has now been taken out of ICU.

My best wishes for the four cases that are now still in intensive care. I hope that they will recover.

Our appreciation goes to the hard working doctors and nurses.

Most of the newly diagnosed cases are likely to be of a mild form. If they are discovered early, they will not face the risk of severe or critical illness. I hope that I am right.

If anyone has a high temperature, it is best to go to a clinic and see a doctor.

While we have to be careful, there is no need to be alarmed. There is no need to rush to stockpile food or other staple products, or queue up for face masks and hand sanitizers.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to say. There is still no need for me to put on a face mask. Let me enjoy the fresh air and bright sunshine, OK?

I am still hopeful, maybe confident, that this epidemic will be over in two months time, when winter is over in China.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Do not issue code Orange next time!

The health minister issued code Orange and caused the following outcomes:

a) There was panic with the public at large rushing to stock up food and other supplies.
b) Many workplaces have to set aside many workers to do temperature scanning and collect data for contract tracing
c) Some countries started to impose restrictions on travel to and from Singapore.

Instead of issuing code Orange, the health minister could have taken the following steps:

Provide hand sanitizers at public places

The medical experts advised that people should wash their hands frequently to get rid of the virus.

I suggested that the govt should provide hand sanitizers for use by the public at all public places, such as MRT stations, bus interchanges, malls and markets.

Some people said - the sanitizers will run out quickly.

Measures to stop the spread of the virus

Under code orange, the govt implement the following strategies to stop the spread of the virus:

a) Have workplaces implement temperature scanning
b) Record contact details for contact tracing.

A lot of work is done, but I sense that these measures are not effective. What are better ways to stop the spread of infection?

Sunday, February 16, 2020

A keyboard warrior

Someone, probably a PAP troll, accuse me of being a keyboard warrior.

He forgot that besides warring on the keyboard, I do the following:

a) Walk 90 minutes to the office once a week and meet and talk to people on the footpaths, including those who ride PMD (in defiance of the LPM ban)

b) Walk 6 bus stops every day to deny XXX of $0.14 in bus fares and from the grassroots club to my home, denying him of $0.60 each time.

c) Spent one afternoon fitting a cabinet DIY in my home, and now offer my time and expertise to change the cabinet in Parliament House.

d) Conduct two surveys every day to listen to the "wisdom of the crowd" and pass many feedbacks to the leaders who are too busy to listen. (But they engage scholars to monitor my social media and take ideas from me, without giving me credit).

e) Set an example of not wearing a face mask to help the country cope with the embarrassment of not having sufficient stock of this essential medical supply.

I probably do more walking than his hard working MP who visits his/ her constituents once a while with a lot of fanfare (also called "wayang"). And I do not get any cent, compared to the $192,500 that his hero MP gets each year.

OK, I am a keyboard warrior. hehehe.

MP wear a mask to visit an infected person

Mr Tan
I am not taking sides but I think Mr GMS does have a point. A ruling party MP has responded to a Facebook post by an opposition politician that criticized her for wearing a mask during a visit to a block with one of Singapore’s coronavirus patients. In her response on Facebook the same day, Ms Cheng said: “One of our residents here at Tampines East is a confirmed patient of the nCoV.” She explained that she had gone to the patient’s block to help the Tampines Town Council with its cleaning operations there. She added: “I also stopped by the quarantined home briefly, and dropped the family a card with the CC’s contact details should they need help. I left them some freshly baked bread and groceries at their door for them to bring in after we left.”

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